By Barry Graham | Free Press Point of View
The Tuesday, Aug. 2, election for three seats on the City Council is all about the path Scottsdale takes. I believe that it is residents — not theories or conjecture — who should decide the direction of the city.
In today’s economy, with the cost of living rapidly rising, there is an obvious demand for more affordable places for people to live.
There are those, including some running for a seat on the council, who say the city’s housing dilemma is a “simple supply-and-demand issue,” suggesting that adding substantially more housing units will fix the problem. That one-dimensional solution takes Scottsdale down the same path we’ve seen harm other cities, something they ultimately regret.
A strict application of “supply-and-demand theory” reduces residents’ voices because it decides the future of our city for them.
Not only is there virtually no evidence to support their claims, their so-called solution actually contradicts what residents have witnessed over the past 15 years: Significant construction of multifamily housing matched by record increases in rental prices.
This “trust us” type of thinking ignores Scottsdale’s history and character. It also diminishes how much residents are able to contribute to the decision-making process. Instead of relying on conjecture to gamble with Scottsdale’s future, we must find balance between protecting Scottsdale’s unique character and adding more housing.
Over the past few months, I’ve communicated with thousands of residents. I trust them when they overwhelmingly tell me they want to take a political path that respects our city’s character because that’s what preserves our quality of life, expands our economy, and attracts visitors.
Residents want and deserve more say in the future of our city — they want their ideas and input to matter. I am committed to making it easier for residents to determine the best path forward to achieve their objectives.
Editor’s note: Mr. Graham is seeking a seat at Scottsdale City Council at the August primary election.